In this August 22 press release, the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia describes how unscrupulous businessmen defrauded trusting investors by promising unrealistic returns on their investment. In fact, one was so brazen that he created a second fraudulent investment while on bail from the original fraud. No matter where you live, or what the nature of the investment is, before you invest your hard earned cash, or even worse your retirement fund, do not hesitate to look into the nature and validity of any investment not well known and trusted by the public. In the Low Country, South Carolina, investors often use Private Investigation Services Group in Beaufort County to help determine the investment bona fides, and those representing the company. If you have any questions regarding an investment you are considering, do not hesitate to reach out to any trusted professional with the investigative and due diligence knowledge and skills to help you make a wise and prudent investment decision.
Founder of Mantria Corp. Sentenced to 22 Years For Operating $54 Million Ponzi Scheme
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Troy Wragg, 37, of Philadelphia, PA was sentenced today to 22 years in prison and $54 million restitution by United States District Judge Joel H. Slomsky for perpetrating two fraud schemes.
The defendant was the founder of Mantria Corporation, based in Bala Cynwyd, PA. From 2005 until 2009, Wragg received approximately $54 million in funds from investors across the United States with the false promise that they would earn 50% or higher returns on their investments. The defendant told the victim investors that Mantria was a very successful company with investments in real estate and green energy. In reality, however, Mantria was a Ponzi scheme which used new investor funds to pay “earnings” to earlier investors.
Wragg obtained these large investments through co-defendant Wayde McKelvy, who ran unlicensed investment clubs in Colorado. In addition to advising the victims to invest their retirement savings in Mantria, Wragg and McKelvy coached the victims to obtain home equity loans, credit card loans, and other loans to raise even more funds to invest in Mantria. Thus, when the Mantria Ponzi scheme collapsed, many of the victims were left financially devastated.
While on bail pending sentencing for the Mantria fraud, Wragg brazenly committed a second fraud scheme. The defendant solicited an investment in an online video dating service, known as LUVR, with the false representation that the company was about to be purchased by a well-known internet entrepreneur. In reality, no such deal ever existed and the victim lost her entire investment.